Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tata Motors, JLR to collaborate R&D

Tata Motor has decided to develop new vehicles for domestic and overseas markets using in-house research and the expertise gained through acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), a top official of JLR said on Wednesday.

"We will be collaborating with Tata Motor's R&D centers here and in the UK for research into new products that can be launched in India or somewhere else," Mike Wright, executive director, JLR, told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event organised by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacture (SIAM) here.

According to Wright, the company's ambitions to penetrate the Indian and the Chinese markets were well known and that it was keen to develop new products for these markets.

When asked about shifting some of assembly units in India for deploying volumes here, Wright said: "We have manufacturing facility in UK, any new facility would only be incremental to the existing ones and not the other way around." He also said: "
Vehicles imported from the UK to India attract very high custom duty, so the company may look at producing more vehicles locally".

"We are looking at the opportunity to introduce more locally produced models in India," Wright said when asked if JLR would assemble other models apart form 'Freelander' in India.

A fully built vehicle attracts import duty of up to 110%in India.

In May this year, JLR opened its first assembly plant in Pune to assemble sports utility vehicle Land Rover Freelander 2 from completely knocked down (CKD) kits shipped from the Halewood manufacturing unit in Liverpool, UK.

In Tata Motors Annual Report for 2010-11, Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata had said the group's British firm JLR, is looking at increasing its assembly operations in India, besides planning to start assembling in China as well.

"Assembly operations in India have commenced for the Land Rover Freelander. Assembly of other Land Rover products are also under consideration," Tata had said.

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